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Sports Trade-deadline primer: St. Louis Blues

07:40  07 april  2021
07:40  07 april  2021 Source:   prohockeyrumors.com

Top 30 Players to Watch Approaching the 2021 Trade Deadline

  Top 30 Players to Watch Approaching the 2021 Trade Deadline Who will stay and who will go? This tiered list of trade candidates can be your primer in the weeks leading up to the NHL's April 12 deadline.Let the trading begin. Or not. Honestly? No one knows what to expect from these unprecedented circumstances.

We are now less than a week away from the NHL Trade Deadline, and talks are heating up. Where does each team stand and what moves should each be looking to make? We continue our look around the league with the St. Louis Blues.

a baseball player holding a bat: Vince Dunn has been in trade speculation dating back to last season, and the Blues were involved in trade talks involving him earlier in the year. © Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports Vince Dunn has been in trade speculation dating back to last season, and the Blues were involved in trade talks involving him earlier in the year.

It has been a disappointing season in St. Louis, to put it lightly. The Blues were comfortably in the playoff mix until a month ago when things went completely off the rails as they’ve won just twice since then, falling out of the postseason picture in the process. All of a sudden, a team that looked like it was poised to be a potential buyer might very well be changing course and moving some players out over the next few days.

Trade-deadline primer: San Jose Sharks

  Trade-deadline primer: San Jose Sharks We are now less than a week away from the NHL Trade Deadline and talks are heating up. Where does each team stand and what moves should they be looking to make?  We continue our look around the league with the San Jose Sharks. © John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports Earlier this season, it appeared as if the San Jose Sharks were in for another disappointing year. The club wanted to use the shortened 2020-21 campaign to evaluate their core and the early returns were not encouraging. However, the past few weeks have changed everything. The Sharks are 6-3-1 in their past ten games, including four straight wins.

Record

16-16-6, T-5th in West Division

Deadline status

Potential Seller

Deadline cap space

$0 in regular cap space, $1.2 million in LTIR space, 0/3 retention slots used, 48/50 contracts used per CapFriendly.

Upcoming draft picks

2021: STL 1st, STL 3rd, STL 5th, STL 6th, DET 7th

2022: STL 1st, STL 2nd, STL 3rd, STL 4th, STL 5th, STL 6th

Trade chips

Vince Dunn has been in trade speculation dating back to last season, and the Blues were involved in trade talks involving him earlier in the year. Even though Dunn is only two years removed from a 35-point sophomore campaign, his production has tapered off since then and he has just a dozen points (5-7-12) in 36 games this season despite averaging more than 19 minutes a night, the most of his career. With Torey Krug and Colton Parayko serving as two sure-fire protectees in expansion, there’s only one slot remaining, and Justin Faulk could be staking a claim to that spot. It feels like a matter of when, not if, Dunn gets moved, and as he’s rather cheap now ($1.875 million), his market might be stronger now than it will be this summer when he’ll be arbitration-eligible for the first time and in need of protection by whoever makes a move for him.

Blues open to moving some pending unrestricted free agents

  Blues open to moving some pending unrestricted free agents With the team looking like more of a seller at the deadline, some specific names are emerging as potential trade targets.Hoffman is clearly the headliner of the two. He was pegged to be one of the more highly sought-after players in free agency last fall but it took a long time for a market to materialize. He ultimately settled on a PTO with the Blues with the framework of an agreement in place. The two sides worked out a one-year, $4M pact just before the regular season got underway.

Mike Hoffman was brought in to help offset the loss of Vladimir Tarasenko who started the season on LTIR with recurring shoulder troubles. Twenty-one points (9-12-21) in 36 isn’t bad, but it’s safe to say he has underperformed relative to expectations. It was extremely unlikely he’d be back next year regardless of how he played due to the Blues' cap situation, so if they believe they’re going to miss the playoffs, it would make sense for GM Doug Armstrong to try to flip him. With a $4 million price tag for him, the Blues might need to retain to facilitate a move. Tyler Bozak ($5 million) is in a similar situation, but with declining production, his market will be more limited. Jaden Schwartz ($5.35 million) is another pending UFA, but if there is mutual interest in an extension, the Blues might not move him.

Veteran defensemen are always in demand at this time of year, and while he’s not a rental, Robert Bortuzzo could generate some interest. He’s a third-pairing or seventh option at this stage of his career but he can still play with physicality and kill penalties, elements that are often coveted at this time of year. He has another year left at $1.375 million, a rate that isn’t all that high for someone in that role, but the Blues would ideally likely to fill that spot with someone making a bit less to try to give themselves some more cap flexibility for next year.

Trade-deadline primer: Toronto Maple Leafs

  Trade-deadline primer: Toronto Maple Leafs After bringing in some experience and character in the offseason, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been the unquestioned leader of the North Division for most of the season. They now sit seven points clear of the second place Winnipeg Jets, meaning if there was ever a year for GM Kyle Dubas to push his chips to the middle, this might be it. Dubas himself has admitted that the team’s cap situation may lend itself to going after a rental instead of a player with term this year, meaning nearly everyone on an expiring contract could be a target for the Maple Leafs.

Others to Watch For: Ivan Barbashev ($1.475 million, RFA), F Kyle Clifford ($1 million through 2021-22), D Steven Santini ($700,000 RFA)

Team needs

1) Draft Picks – With the Blues having only two picks in the first four rounds, there’s a clear need to restock the cupboard. They didn’t have their second-round selection last year or their first rounder the year before that as well. Hoffman and Dunn give them two options who might be able to yield a high pick or impact prospect, and there is going to be a definite need to supplement that core with cost-controlled entry-level deals. It’s hard to get those with only two picks in the first 130 selections.

2) Backup Goalie Upgrade – For a few years, Ville Husso was seen as a goalie of the future for St. Louis. That future came this season with Jake Allen moved to Montreal, giving Husso a path to NHL action. The initial returns haven’t been great as he has a save percentage of just .883 this season. If the Blues think they’re still in the mix, a better backup helps. If they’re thinking about next season, a better backup might be needed in the offseason, but if they can get that player now, they might as well go ahead and do so.

Veteran forwards Kyle Turris, Paul Byron put on waivers

  Veteran forwards Kyle Turris, Paul Byron put on waivers Once reliable scoring options, Byron and Turris have seen their stocks fall dramatically the past few seasons.For Bishop and the Senators, this is a simple move to regain the roster flexibility they have had for most of the season. After clearing waivers before the season began, Bishop was able to move freely between the active roster and taxi squad depending on need, saving the Senators some cash on off days. His exempt status expired earlier this month, meaning he needed to clear again to be assigned to the taxi squad. With just three points in 12 games, Bishop is likely to clear again.

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More must-reads:

  • Blues open to moving some pending unrestricted free agents
  • Wild's Luke Johnson, Blues' Jacob de la Rose placed on waivers
  • The 'St. Louis Blues Hall of Famers' quiz

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Bruins acquire defenseman Mike Reilly from Senators .
A good showing with Boston would certainly bolster his value heading into the open market but could also create an opportunity for him to stick around. Reilly is a pending unrestricted free agent with a $1.5 million salary and cap hit, which still leaves GM Don Sweeney some space with which to work before Monday’s trade deadline. The Bruins could still stand to add defensive depth in light of the injuries but they could also turn to try to add up front and add some secondary scoring, an element they’ve frequently coveted in recent deadlines.

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